Award-winning CityConnect cycle schemes showcased to visitors from across UK

Delegates from across the country have visited West Yorkshire to see how the Combined Authority is leading the way in getting more people cycling and walking by developing ambitious and pioneering new infrastructure.

Representatives of the country’s other “cycle cities” – Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Oxford – visited the 14 km Leeds to Bradford Cycle Superhighway on which people have made over ½ million trips, since it opened in in summer 2016.

Bike friendly employer

As part of their visit the delegates also visited and the newly-completed Castleford to Wakefield Greenway, rode along the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath to the new Kirkstall Forge urban village, where they visited car leasing firm, Zenith, which has recently been recognised as a ‘bike friendly’ employer through the CityConnect Bike Friendly Business scheme.

West Yorkshire was one of eight locations awarded Cycle City Ambition Grant (CCAG) funding from the Government in 2013. The funding, which was initially £18.1 million, is being used to deliver the CityConnect programme in partnership with Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield and York councils.

In a presentation at Wakefield Town Hall, the “cycle city” visitors heard how the Combined Authority’s Cycle City Ambition Grant-funded CityConnect team have worked with businesses, schools, communities, jobseekers and apprentices across the region. Over 16,000 people, including over 2,000 pupils from 13 schools along the route of the Leeds to Bradford Cycle Superhighway, have been engaged.

Confidence increased

The City Connect team explained how in a 2017 survey, 61% of users surveyed reported their confidence had increased due to the Cycle Superhighway and reported that November last year, the scheme won ‘Transport Project of the Year’ at the Northern Transport Awards.

Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “It’s great to be able to show the other cycle cities what we have already achieved through the CityConnect project. The award-winning Leeds to Bradford Cycle Superhighway is the longest piece of segregated cycle infrastructure between two cities in this country. The projects being delivered as part of the second round of funding are building on our ambition to make walking and cycling the most obvious and convenient choice for short journeys around our region.

“What really makes the CityConnect project unique is the way it combines development of new cycling and walking infrastructure with a comprehensive suite of engagement initiatives to encourage people to use this infrastructure. Initiatives which are building the foundations for a society in which cycling and walking is the norm.

“This is something that needs to happen nationally and we are pleased to be able to share how we are delivering against this ambition with the rest of the cycle cities.”

Find out more about the CityConnect programme (opens in new tab). 

12 Mar 2018

< Back to News